ANNOUNCING a new book from Lantern Hollow Press:  Donald T. Williams, REFLECTIONS FROM PLATO’S CAVE: ESSAYS IN EVANGELICAL PHILOSOPHY (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2012).

The following description and ratinale for the book is taken from the author’s introduction:

I am not a professional philosopher.  I am a pastor and teacher of the church who holds a masters degree in theology and pastoral ministry and a doctorate in medieval and renaissance literature.  I suppose that makes me a professional expositor of texts.  Of those texts, the most significant were written by men like John and Paul, not Plato and Aristotle.  The ones I currently expound for a living were written by Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton, not Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.  My other published books (in so far as they are classifiable) are works of literary criticism, apologetics, theology, and poetry.  All of them impinge on philosophical topics and some attempt sustained arguments, but none of them would be classified primarily as books of philosophy.  So in this age obsessed with professional hyper-specialization, when nothing is more likely to be ignored than gratuitous philosophizing by an amateur, why in the world would I write a book like this one?

Because the unexamined life is not worth living.

Because Francis Schaeffer was right:  In the Post-Christian world, lay men and women can no longer afford to remain ignorant of critical issues and questions that used to be the domain only of philosophy majors.  The biblical world view can no longer be taken for granted, even by Christians.  If we do not all think in terms of world view, that is, think philosophically, we will be able neither to discern the biblical world view, nor to retain it, nor to disciple others in it, nor to communicate it to non-Christians.  Not only is the unexamined life not worth living, it is not even possible any more for those who wish to be faithful Christians and faithful witnesses for Christ.

Because Beauty, Truth, and Goodness are too important to be left to the professionals.  Those professional philosophers, despite all the truly good and useful things they have to offer us, are sometimes unavoidably so focused on answering the unending proliferation of technical arguments by their peers that they run the risk losing the wheat in the chaff, and they are often so comfortable with the highly developed jargon of their clan that they have forgotten how to communicate with normal human beings.  So there is not only room, there is a need for people like Schaeffer and myself—not professional philosophers, but pastors and theologians capable of thinking philosophically.  Call us bridges or translators if you will.  We can help guide the church through the dangerous straits of modern life, where philosophical ideas both good and ill come at us disguised as art or cinema or pop culture.

Because the Bible gives us Truth that is so Good and Beautiful that it deserves a lifetime of unpacking; because we impoverish ourselves if we do not attend to how the different facets of that Truth relate to one another and to what we can learn from other sources; because that Good and Beautiful Truth comes to us as the living Word who is worthy of all contemplation.

Because in conversation with better philosophical minds than my own (including some of those professionals), I have learned some things too good not to share.  I hope that by the end of the book, my way of presenting some of them will justify the etymological definition of philosophy as the love of wisdom.



About gandalf30598

Theologian, philosopher, poet, and critic; minister of the Gospel who makes his living by teaching medieval and renaissance literature; dual citizen of Narnia and Middle Earth.

Posted on January 30, 2012, in Christianity, Donald Williams, Educational Resources, Philosophy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. What? You haven’t ordered yet? Hie thee to the LHP store on this website and do so forthwith!

  1. Pingback: Plato christianity | Zurichgnome

  2. Pingback: If You Knew The Truth, | Words Form Windows

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